Every person in York Region and across the province should benefit from the
opportunities that Ontario has to offer, no matter their age. That’s why the province is taking
action to make sure that all seniors are able to access the support they need at every stage of their life.
Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham on behalf of York Region MPPs Michael Chan,
Reza Moridi and Steven Del Duca was at Markham Seniors Activity Centre today to share Aging with Confidence: Ontario’s Action Plan for Seniors. Also today, MPP Chris Ballard was at the Newmarket Senior’s Meeting Place discussing this plan. The plan empowers people to make the choices that are right for them when it comes to their care, their independence and how they access government services — whether that’s finding ways to keep up an active lifestyle or getting the support needed to live at home longer.
The number of seniors in Ontario is forecast to double to 4.6 million within the next 25 years — and Ontario aims to become the best place in the world to grow older. Aging with Confidence focuses on areas that seniors say they care about most, including living independently for as long as possible and staying connected through social, recreational and volunteer activities. To ensure communities in York Region are ready for the changing realities of an aging population, the plan also substantially expands the number of long-term care (LTC) beds across the province, while increasing staffing levels and support for LTC home residents.
The new action plan offers:
A one-stop website where seniors — about 70 per cent of whom go online every day — can
find information about tax credits, drug coverage, powers of attorney, recreation programs
and more. Seniors will also be able to get information over the phone in more than 150
An annual high-dose influenza vaccine, targeted to protect seniors, will be available
free of charge as part of the Ontario Universal Influenza Immunization Program
Support for “naturally occurring” retirement communities by investing more than $15
million over two years for apartment buildings or housing developments where many
seniors already live close to one another
More volunteering opportunities connecting seniors and youth, fostering learning
and mentorship while reducing older people’s risk of social isolation
5,000 new LTC beds over the next four years and 15 million more hours of nursing,
personal support and therapeutic care annually for residents in LTC homes, as well
as a 10-year plan to create more than 30,000 new beds over the next decade, working
with the long-term care sector.
Helping seniors live their best life is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity
during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and
better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to
affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest
expansion of Medicare in a generation.
“My mom is 89 and my dad is 91 — so my family and I know, on a very personal level, how
important it is to Ontario’s two million seniors, and their families and friends, that we empower older people to navigate this next phase of life with dignity and as much independence as possible. Through Aging with Confidence, we are doing our very best to help seniors continue to live life to the fullest as part of Ontario’s healthy and vibrant communities.” –– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“Over the last year I’ve travelled across the province meeting a diverse array of seniors, who are as vibrant as the province itself. Aging with Confidence is a broad plan to support seniors at all stages of life. Seniors have spent a lifetime contributing to their communities and to the economy. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that their changing needs are met.”
— Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs
“After a lifetime of working hard and building Ontario up to the thriving society it is today, we owe it to Ontario seniors to support healthy aging and ensure they enjoy a high quality of life. By investing in the health care services and supports that ensure seniors stay independent, healthy and active, all of Ontario will continue to benefit from the tremendous knowledge, compassion and experience that seniors have to share.” –– Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“Seniors in my riding want to know that the province will be there to provide supports and services that they require when they require them. Ontario’s new plan: Aging with Confidence, aims to ensure that seniors not just in York Region but across Ontario and their families are well supported at all stages of their lives.” –– Dr.Helena Jaczek, M.P.P., Oak Ridges-Markham
Ontario is investing $155 million over three years through the action plan.
Older adults make up Ontario’s fastest-growing age group. There are now more people in
Ontario 65 or older than under 15.
Ontario’s approach builds on a number of recent initiatives, including supporting 40 new Seniors Active Living Centres and implementing a Dementia Strategy, which will improve access to quality care and supports for people living with dementia and their care partners.
Almost half of seniors are worried about being alone. Social isolation is a risk factor for an
array of negative outcomes among older people, including elder abuse, a higher risk of falls,
hospitalization and depression.
Aging with Confidence builds on Ontario’s 2013 Action Plan for Seniors.
In January, Ontario created a standalone Ministry of Seniors Affairs to strengthen efforts to improve seniors’ quality of life.
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